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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 December, 2004, 15:50 GMT
New homeless regulations unveiled
B&B accommodation
The regulations will cover temporary accommodation
New regulations aimed at improving living conditions for homeless people have been unveiled.

Communities Minister Malcolm Chisholm said he wanted to ensure that those living in hostels and temporary accommodation had "minimum rights".

He said those providing accommodation would be given "a clear framework within which to support people who are often very vulnerable".

More than 150m will be spent on tackling homelessness over three years.

Mr Chisholm made his announcement during a visit to a hostel in Dundee run by homeless charity Cyrenians.

We have to do more than provide bricks and mortar
Malcolm Chisholm
Communities Minister
"Homelessness can happen to anyone, and it's not just a housing problem," he said.

"Many people who get into this situation require support to address drug or alcohol problems or mental health issues, others need family support or assistance in accessing employment.

"With the right support, homeless people can turn their lives around."

The proposals unveiled on Wednesday will go out to public consultation.

"We have to do more than provide bricks and mortar," said Mr Chisholm.

Midwifery service

"That means investment in a range of different types of accommodation and a huge range of support services for those who need help.

"We want to make sure that people living in hostels and temporary accommodation have minimum rights and that accommodation providers have a clear framework within which to support people who are often very vulnerable."

The regulations also set out the standards of behaviour expected of residents.

Meanwhile, the first dedicated midwifery service for homeless women is being launched in Glasgow.

More than 1,000 women become homeless in Scotland each year while they are pregnant.

Vulnerable group

It is believed that there are many more who do not report to homeless centres.

Women in this position may not have a GP or be receiving ante-natal advice.

NHS Greater Glasgow has appointed a midwife specifically to deal with this vulnerable group, linking them up to the services they need.

It is hoped that fewer women will fall through the net and can be encouraged to seek help for other issues, like drug or alcohol addictions.

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